Joint COSS letter to National Cabinet on Rental Crisis
15 August 2023
Ahead of the National Cabinet meeting (16 August), ACTCOSS and the broader Councils of Social Service (COSS) Network* has called on state, territory and federal governments to step-up and take significant action to address the rental crisis.
In a letter to the Prime Minister and Australia’s premiers and chief ministers, the COSS network – representing thousands of social services – warned they are seeing “distressing levels of housing need”, with a devastating human impact.
“There are over 640,000 low-income Australian households with an unmet housing need – people who are homeless, living in overcrowded housing, or spending more than 30% of income on rent,” the letter said.
“Our frontline service organisations are witnessing distressing levels of housing need.
“The rental crisis requires immediate attention. Without government intervention, housing will continue to be unaffordable and insecure for many Australians. Law reform is required to limit rental increases, prevent no-grounds evictions, and ensure homes are energy efficient.”
The COSS network called for rent increases to be capped, alongside a ban on no-grounds evictions, including those at the end of fixed-term tenancies. This would work “to provide greater housing security for renters and to discourage the practice of using no-grounds evictions to enable the rent to be increased under a new lease”.
The network also called for the implementation of energy efficiency standards for rental homes, a permanent increase to income and rental support payments, and plans that “deliver accelerated housing supply and seek to end housing need in Australia”.
* The COSS Network includes ACOSS and eight state and territory bodies, namely ACTCOSS, NCOSS, NTCOSS, QCOSS, SACOSS, TasCOSS, VCOSS and WACOSS.
For more information, please see the COSS Network open letter below to National Cabinet regarding the extent of the rental crisis in Australia, or ACOSS’s media release.